Small Press Gems

  • Treasure of the Spanish Civil War Cover Image
    By Serge Pey, Donald Nicholson-Smith (Translated by)
    $18.00
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    Description


    An intimate portrait of childhood during Spain's violent fascist regime, rendered in a surreal kaleidoscope of linked stories.

    Serge Pey's stories are lyrical, vivid vignettes of life during and directly following Spain's violent fascist regime of the thirties and forties. The collection is a defiant ode to the resilience of the human spirit, each story depicting a small act of human resistance: a man plants a fruit tree for each of his assassinated comrades; a professor hides a secret library of banned books in plain sight. Many of the stories are surreal, fable-like impressions from the perspective of children caught in the midst of the political violence. Pey's understated yet unusual prose renders a brutal landscape with childlike wonder. The Treasure of the Spanish Civil War and Other Tales is a strikingly original meditation on courage, survival, and hope in the face of oppression. 

    About the Author


    Serge Pey is a French writer, poet, and visual and performance artist. A child of the Spanish Civil War, Pey was born in Toulouse to a working class immigrant family. Pey's work is inseparable from his political conscience and focuses on the intersection of poetry and revolution. Pey received the Grand Prix de Poesié in 2017 for Flamenco and the Boccace Prize in 2012 for Treasures of the Spanish Civil War and Other Tales. He is also a laureate of the Robert Ganzo Poetry Prize. Pey now teaches contemporary poetry at the University of Mirai. About the Translator: Donald Nicholson-Smith's translations include works by Thierry Jonquet, Guy Debord, Paco Ignacio Taibo II, Henri Lefebvre, Paoul Vaneigem, Antonin Artaud, Jean Laplanche, and J.B. Pontalis. His translation of Apollinaire's Letters to Madeleine was shortlisted for the 2012 French-American Foundation Prize for Nonfiction and in 2014 he won the Foundation's Fiction Prize for his translation of Jean-Patrick Manchette's The Mad and the Bad. His translation of In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2017. He has been named a Chevalier des Arts et Lettres for services to French literature in translation.

    Praise For…


    "Pey’s haunting, inspired collection captures the lives of refugees fleeing the Spanish Civil War...Throughout this remarkable collection, Pey’s startling and memorable images have a poetic logic, building complexity and nuance into the characters’ cries for freedom. This masterful collection stands with the best fiction about war refugees." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)


       • "Donald Nicholson-Smith's translations hold fast to this poetry's unnerving eloquence and simplicity, and its hell-for-leather speed." - T.J Clark on In Praise of Defeat (shortlisted for the 2017 Griffen Poetry Prize)


       • "Presenting the text en face, translator Donald Nicholson-Smith navigates the poet's many styles and moods with poise and opens this landmark writer's body of work up to nonfrancophone readers." - World Literature Today on In Praise of Defeat
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781939810540
    ISBN-10: 193981054X
    Publisher: Archipelago
    Publication Date: March 3rd, 2020
    Pages: 180
  • Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing Cover Image
    By Rene Daumal, Roger Shattuck, Vera Daumal (Afterword by)
    $15.95
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    This pataphysical journey up a mountain whose "summit must be inaccessible, but its base accessible to human beings" depicts an allegorical landscape akin to Alice in Wonderland

    A beloved cult classic of surrealism, pataphysics and Gurdjieffian mysticism, Ren Daumal's Mount Analogue is the allegorical tale of an expedition to a mountain whose existence can only be deduced, not observed. As its numerous editions (most now rare) over the decades attest, the book has been highly influential: Alejandro Jodorowsky's visionary 1973 film The Holy Mountain is a loose adaptation of the book, and John Zorn based an eponymous album on it.

    This edition, a gorgeous addition to the Exact Change list, brings the original 1959 English translation by Roger Shattuck--widely considered the best--back into print.

    Left unfinished after Daumal's death from tuberculosis in 1944--in mid-sentence, as he broke from writing to receive a visitor--Mount Analogue offers a compelling and philosophically resonant chronicle of a group of travelers seeking the titular mountain, based on the symbolic calculations of one Father Sogol ("Logos" spelled backward) and his students. As Daumal writes, "Mount Analogue is the symbolic mountain--the way that unites Heaven and Earth, a way which must exist in material and human form, otherwise our situation would be without hope."

    Translator Roger Shattuck, author of many volumes, is perhaps best known for his important book The Banquet Years, a history of the turn-of-the-century French avant-garde.

    Ren Daumal (1908-44) was a literary prodigy in his teens, publishing poetry that attracted the attention of Andr Breton and the surrealists. Forging his own path instead of joining the group, he co-created and edited the influential literary journal Le Grand Jeu (1927-32), before turning his attentions to Eastern philosophy under the influence of Gurdjieff and Alexandre de Salzmann (model for the character Father Sogol in Mount Analogue). His early death from tuberculosis in 1944 left his masterpiece, Mount Analogue, unfinished; nonetheless it became his best-loved and most famous work.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781878972439
    ISBN-10: 187897243X
    Publisher: Exact Change
    Publication Date: September 17th, 2019
    Pages: 160
    Language: English
  • For Your Convenience: A Classic 1930's Guide to London Loos Cover Image
    By Paul Pry, Philip Gough (Illustrator)
    $13.95
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    Description


    A facsimile guide to the Gents Loos of London, with map endpapers, published originally in 1937 by Routledge. Two members of a Gentleman’s Club begin a conversation over a copy of the Sanitary World and Drainage Observer. The discussion turns to where "relief" may be obtained after drinking tea or lager when walking the streets of London. We are told that the "places that have no attendants afford excellent rendezvous to people who wish to meet out of doors and yet escape the eye of the Busy (police)." The book could be read at as an entertaining, straightforward guide to London’s public conveniences but yet to our more skeptical eye it is patently a guide to where men could meet like-minded men in an era when homosexuality was illegal. It remains a classic whether taken at face value or not.

    About the Author


    Paul Pry was the pseudonym of Thomas Burke, author of the highly-acclaimed Limehouse Nights and Nights in Town. Several of his short stories became films directed by D. W. Griffith. He died in London in 1945.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781999313555
    ISBN-10: 1999313550
    Publisher: Muswell Press
    Publication Date: March 1st, 2020
    Pages: 80
  • The Dreamed Part Cover Image
    By Rodrigo Fresan, Will Vanderhyden (Translator)
    $18.95
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    Description


    Following his failure to break into the Hadron Collider and merge with the so-called "God particle," The Writer from The Invented Part can no longer write or sleep. Instead, he lies awake, imagining and reimagining key moments of his life, spinning out a series of insomniac visions every bit as thought-provoking as they are dreamlike. A mysterious foundation dedicated to preserving dreams, suddenly invaluable in the wake of the dream-eradicating White Plague; a psycho-lyrical-photophobic terrorist; an electric and mercurial lullaby; three lunatic sisters (and an eclipsed brother) who write from the darkest side of the most wuthering lunar heights; a hallucinating prisoner and a hallucinatory family; a genius addicted to butterflies and an FBI agent addicted to that genius; a looney and lysergic uncle and parents who model but are not model parents; a revolutionary staging of Shakespeare for the children of chic guerrillas; a city of sleepless bookshops; and a writer who might be 100 years old. Or not.

    With characteristic wit, careening style, and array of cultural references, high and low and everything in between--from Shakespeare, the Bront sisters, and Vladimir Nabokov to Talking Heads, superhero movies, and Rick and Morty--the second volume of Fres n's trilogy is one of the most ambitious, unique, and entertaining novels of our time.

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781948830058
    ISBN-10: 1948830051
    Publisher: Open Letter
    Publication Date: November 12th, 2019
    Pages: 550
    Language: English
  • Days of Peace Cover Image
    By Rachel Shihor, Sara Tropper (Translated by), Esther Frumkin (Translated by)
    $21.50
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    Description


    Jerusalem in the early 1990s, just before the Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signed the Oslo Peace Accords and was assassinated by a rightwing ideologue shortly thereafter. Naomi, a former architect from secular Tel Aviv, has just married Jochanan, a religious doctor who emigrated from Sweden. Days of Peace follows Naomi through Jerusalem as she meets a rich cast of characters, from an Arab beggarwoman in a park on a Sabbath afternoon to a professor of biblical archaeology on a life-long quest to produce a hand-lettered edition of the Bible. Kaleidoscopic scenes of the city pass before our eyes: a ritual bath, a wedding hall, carpentry workshops, bookstores, Hadassah Hospital, a former leper colony and more. As Naomi’s marriage deteriorates, she travels to Poland, where the sorrow over those lost in the Holocaust intertwines with her nostalgia for the early romance of her now-faded marriage. But while the drama unfolds in the divorce court back in Jerusalem, Naomi is on her ultimate search—to find her place in this historical city.

    Written in deceptively simple, almost conversational prose, Rachel Shihor’s latest novel is a poignant, layered portrait of a city and a young woman’s quest to find herself.

    About the Author


    Esther Frumkin is a translator who grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, and has lived in Israel since 1987.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780857426994
    ISBN-10: 0857426990
    Publisher: Seagull Books
    Publication Date: March 5th, 2020
    Pages: 176
  • The Other Name: Septology I-II Cover Image
    By Jon Fosse, Damion Searls (Translator)
    $17.95
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    Description


    Longlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize

    "Fosse's fusing of the commonplace and the existential, together with his dramatic forays into the past, make for a relentlessly consuming work: already Septology feels momentous."--The Guardian

    "Fosse's portrait of intersecting lives is that rare metaphysical novel that readers will find compulsively readable."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

    i>The Other Name follows the lives of two men living close to each other on the west coast of Norway. The year is coming to a close and Asle, an aging painter and widower, is reminiscing about his life. He lives alone, his only friends being his neighbor, sleik, a bachelor and traditional Norwegian fisherman-farmer, and Beyer, a gallerist who lives in Bj rgvin, a couple hours' drive south of Dylgja, where he lives. There, in Bj rgvin, lives another Asle, also a painter. He and the narrator are doppelgangers--two versions of the same person, two versions of the same life.

    Written in hypnotic prose that shifts between the first and third person, The Other Name calls into question concrete notions around subjectivity and the self. What makes us who we are? And why do we lead one life and not another? Through flashbacks, Fosse deftly explores the convergences and divergences in the lives of both Asles, slowly building towards a decisive encounter between them both. A writer at the zenith of his career, with The Other Name, the first two volumes in his Septology, Fosse presents us with an indelible and poignant exploration of the human condition that will endure as his masterpiece.

    About the Author


    Jon Fosse is one of Norway's most celebrated authors and playwrights. He was born in 1959 on the west coast of Norway and is the recipient of countless prestigious prizes, both in his native Norway and abroad. Since his 1983 fiction debut, Raudt, svart [Red, Black], Fosse has written prose, poetry, essays, short stories, children's books, and over forty plays, with more than a thousand productions performed and translations into fifty languages.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781945492402
    ISBN-10: 1945492406
    Publisher: Transit Books
    Publication Date: April 7th, 2020
    Pages: 340
    Language: English
  • Baudelaire Fractal Cover Image
    $17.95
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    Description


    One morning, Hazel Brown awakes in a badly decorated hotel room to find that she's written the complete works of Charles Baudelaire. In her bemusement the hotel becomes every cheap room she ever stayed in during her youthful perambulations in 1980s Paris ... This is the legend of a she-dandy's life.
    Part magical realism, part feminist ars poetica, part history of tailoring, part bibliophilic anthem, part love affair with nineteenth-century painting, The Baudelaire Fractal is poet and art writer Lisa Robertson's first novel. 'As far as I'm concerned, it's already a classic.' - Anne Boyer 'Robertson's debut novel, for those interested in the possibilities of fiction, is not to be missed.' - Publishers Weekly 'A new Lisa Robertson book is both a public event and a private kind of bacchanal.' - Los Angeles Review of Books.

    About the Author


    Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet and essayist currently living in France. Born in Toronto in 1961, she was a longtime resident of Vancouver, where in the early 90s she began writing, publishing and collaborating in a community of artists and poets that included Artspeak Gallery and The Kootenay School of Writing. In 2017 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Letters by Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and in 2018, the Foundation for the Contemporary Arts in NY awarded her the inaugural CD Wright Award in Poetry. She has taught at Cambridge University, Princeton, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, Piet Zwart Institute, Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and American University of Paris, as well as holding research and residency positions at institutions across Canada, the US, and Europe.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781552453902
    ISBN-10: 1552453901
    Publisher: Coach House Books
    Publication Date: February 4th, 2020
    Pages: 160
    Language: English
  • Breasts and Eggs Cover Image
    By Mieko Kawakami, Sam Bett (Translator), David Boyd (Translator)
    $27.00
    Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now

    Description


    The story of three women by a writer hailed by Haruki Murakami as Japan's most important contemporary novelist, WINNER OF THE AKUTAGAWA PRIZE.

    "Breasts and Eggs took my breath away."--HARUKI MURAKAMI

    Challenging every preconception about storytelling and prose style, mixing wry humor and riveting emotional depth, Kawakami is today one of Japan's most important and best-selling writers. She exploded onto the cultural scene first as a musician, then as a poet and popular blogger, and is now an award-winning novelist.

    Breasts and Eggs paints a portrait of contemporary womanhood in Japan and recounts the intimate journeys of three women as they confront oppressive mores and their own uncertainties on the road to finding peace and futures they can truly call their own.

    It tells the story of three women: the thirty-year-old Natsu, her older sister, Makiko, and Makiko's daughter, Midoriko. Makiko has traveled to Tokyo in search of an affordable breast enhancement procedure. She is accompanied by Midoriko, who has recently grown silent, finding herself unable to voice the vague yet overwhelming pressures associated with growing up. Her silence proves a catalyst for each woman to confront her fears and frustrations.

    On another hot summer's day ten years later, Natsu, on a journey back to her native city, struggles with her own indeterminate identity as she confronts anxieties about growing old alone and childless.

    Kawakami's first novella My Ego, My Teeth, and the World, published in Japan in 2007, was awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging Writers. The following year, she published Breasts and Eggs as a short novella, and won praise from Yoko Ogawa and Haruki Murakami. The newly expanded Breasts and Eggs is her first novel to be published in English.

    "Mieko Kawakami's first full-scale novel to be translated from Japanese into English reveals what a Catherine Wheel of talent she is, how unplaceable and unique. How forceful. ...] The way she moves among her characters here will make clear why Breasts and Eggs is the Makioka Sisters of its time."--John Freeman in Literary Hub

    "Mieko Kawakami lobbed a literary grenade into the fusty, male-dominated world of Japanese fiction with Breasts and Eggs."--The Economist

    About the Author


    Born in Osaka prefecture in 1976, Mieko Kawakami began her career as a singer and songwriter before making her literary debut in 2006. Her first novella My Ego, My Teeth, and the World, published in 2007, was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize and awarded the Tsubouchi Shoyo Prize for Young Emerging Writers. The following year, Kawakami published Breasts and Eggs as a short novella. It won the Akutagawa Prize, Japan's most prestigious literary honor, and earned praise from the acclaimed writer Yoko Ogawa. Kawakami is also the author of the novels Heaven, The Night Belongs to Lovers, and the newly expanded Breasts and Eggs, her first novel to be published in English. She lives in Japan.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781609455873
    ISBN-10: 1609455878
    Publisher: Europa Editions
    Publication Date: April 7th, 2020
    Pages: 448
    Language: English